Pablo Neruda’s Eleventh: I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair

Someone I love sent this to me earlier this week. And then I sent it to someone I love. And now, I give it to you:

Love Sonnet XI / Pablo Neruda

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.
I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

(Translated by Stephen Tapscott)

mjc-Love Sonnet XI Pablo Neruda

It is even better, of course, in Spanish. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, read it…

Soneto XI / Pablo Neruda

Tengo hambre de tu boca, de tu voz, de tu pelo
y por las calles voy sin nutrirme, callado,
no me sostiene el pan, el alba me desquicia,
busco el sonido líquido de tus pies en el día.

Estoy hambriento de tu risa resbalada,
de tus manos color de furioso granero,
tengo hambre de la pálida piedra de tus uñas,
quiero comer tu piel como una intacta almendra.

Quiero comer el rayo quemado en tu hermosura,
la nariz soberana del arrogante rostro,
quiero comer la sombra fugaz de tus pestañas

y hambriento vengo y voy olfateando el crepúsculo
buscándote, buscando tu corazón caliente
como un puma en la soledad de Quitratúe.

…now go learn Spanish…

mjc

About mjanecolette

Writer. Reader. Angster. Reformed Bohemian (not). Author of the erotic romance Tell Me (Harper Collins, 2015), the erotic tragedy (with a happy ending) Consequences (of defensive adultery) (coming May 2 2017), and the rom-com (she's versatile) Cherry Pie Cure (releasing June 15, 2017), as well as the non-fiction collection of essays Rough Draft Confessions: not a guide to writing and selling erotica and romance but full of inside inside anyway (GENRES were made to be BROKEN, 2017). Closet poet. Currently torturing novels four, five, and six simultaneously. Which is not a good idea.

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